It may surprise you to learn that things have not always been so rosy for me. In fact people often say I've come a long way. I think I've been to hell and back and lived to tell the tale. OK exaggerating about hell but you know what I mean.
Things were really good when I just had Biggie. I was absolutely devoted to raising him in the best way possible. I read books on parenting, belonged to e-groups, went to a monthly playgroup, basically spent every waking minute thinking about how to make him great (and he is!). I researched the best age appropriate toys, making them when I couldn't find them. I printed out recommended reading lists and endeavored to find and read every book, either from the library or the bookstore. I was adamant he would not start kindergarten until the last possible minute. I even attended a seminar on home schooling.
Then I hit a rocky patch. We decided to move house so that Biggie could enjoy more of an outdoor lifestyle. We spent the better part of a year planning and building our new house during which time I finally managed to get pregnant with Little Guy (we went through a stressful and awful time trying - you know the saying it's fun trying? well it's not after a while).
Biggie started kindergarten a week after we moved. Mr. Mee a Bee started commuting for the first time in his life and his days became really long. Little Guy was born 4 months after we got here. As much as my pregnancy was easy health wise I was quite an emotional wreck from the stress of all the upheaval going on. By the time Little Guy arrived I had lost all confidence in my ability to parent Biggie and look after a newborn. I felt lost and alone a lot of the time (my mum and a dear friend saved me with lots of phone calls). I was overwhelmed by the slightest things and very prone to tearful outbursts. The mothers I met at kindergarten helped me more than they will ever know with the steep learning curve that is school life in Japan. Even my mother-in-law rose to the challenge and came to help me with Little Guy once every couple of weeks.
It was also the year that I became increasingly worried about Biggie's health. He developed a terrible breathing condition caused by huge tonsils and adenoids. We were lucky to find a great doctor who eventually recommended surgery but not before Biggie had lost all of his energy, appetite and a lot of weight. I was such a wreck I had to get mum to come and help out while Biggie was in hospital and home from kindergarten.
While this was going on we found out Biggie would need glasses. We tried to correct the problem with eye patches and eye training but recently we were told he will probably always need glasses. I was shocked and gutted having perfect vision myself. I can't help thinking we should have spotted it sooner and could have done more ... anyway this is turning into very long post! Fast forward -->
Little Guy was a dream his first year. I was a real worry wart though and couldn't just relax and enjoy it. I fear I turned him into the monster he is today!
Which brings me back to the topic of the post. It suddenly occurred to me that Little Guy will be three in July. I haven't done half of what I did with Biggie when he was that age. I don't have the excuse that it's hard to balance the demands of the older one with the younger one since Biggie is at school all day. Is it time to break out the books, sign up on some education forums and get down to business? I welcome your input.
You can see some some of the books I have (I was obsessed) on Shelfari. I plan to start re-reading the Miriam Stoppard one, it's one of my favorites. Scroll to the bottom of this blog to see the whole list.